Did you know people who eat a lower-carb diet tend to be more depressed and feel confused on a daily basis? The reason: our happy hormone, serotonin, takes a dive and triggers sad feelings, mood swings, anxiety and problems sleeping. Who needs that!? Carbs really can be the answer for happiness! Hand five for comfort food, we say. So, it’s 30 in the shade and you probably don’t want to scarf a plate of scorching pasta. Instead, go for grains like quinoa, millet, and rye, OH MY! They won’t weigh you down or spike your blood sugar – they’ll give your mood a total boost. Eat these, feel better:
Eat out: Fresh (147 Spadina Ave, 336 Bloor St., 849 Queen St.) Fresh ain’t all foliage – their huge onions rings breaded with breadcrumbs and puffed quinoa are a tasty way to get the goodness of this grain ($5.50)
DIY: Bring 1 ½ cups water or stock and 1 cup of quinoa and a pinch of salt to a boil. Then bring it down to a simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes. Take it off the element and let it hang out, with the lid on, for about 5. Fluff with a fork and serve. Sub it for rice in stir fries, mix it in with bean salads, or make it for breakfast by subbing water for milk and topping with brown sugar and fruit.
DIY: Put 1 cup of millet in a pot, stir it around until the grains pop and jump around. Add 2 cups of boiling water or stock and a pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil and cover the pot. Simmer till all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 – 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. (Makes about 3 ½ cups) Add it to mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash, or swap it for pasta in pasta salads. You can also find puffed millet cereal in most health food stores. It’s sort of like Sugar Crisp minus the sugar. Add your own to taste.
George Street Diner http://thegeorgestreetdiner.blogspot.ca/ (129 George St, 416-862-7676) The George St. Diner crew makes a mean tuna melt on rye. The retro diner atmosphere atmosphere adds to the fun. (lunch combos $10ish)
DIY: Bobs Red Mill’s creamy rye flakes can be used as an alternative to oatmeal. It’s cooked the same way, but tastes slightly earthier. You can also bake these flakes into cookies and breads for a fiber kick and added texture. ($8.12 / 4 lb sack)
~ Kait Fowlie